PENTICTON, B.C. — Kerri Einarson’s sure shooting has her Wild Card rink leading the championship pool of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Einarson’s Manitoba-based team improved to 8-1 after beating B.C.’s Kesa Van Osch 6-5 in Thursday’s evening draw at Canada’s women’s curling championship.
Earlier in the day she defeated Ontario’s Hollie Duncan 7-5 after Einarson’s team scored a triple in the eighth end and then she drew to the button for victory.
“She makes them all the time,” said third Selena Kaatz of the winning shot. “I had all the confidence in the world that she would make that. I wasn’t worried when she went to go throw it.”
Kaatz, playing in her second Tournament of Hearts, thinks their team didn’t have the best start against Ontario but they made sure to hang in and put pressure. Kaatz said they pulled it together in the second half when they scored four points and began playing like they had all week. Momentum shifted at the fifth end break when tied at three.
“We still have more work to do and we can get better for sure,” said Kaatz. “I kind of felt the energy was a little bit low at the beginning. We just have to make sure we have the high energy the whole game for the rest of the week.”
Ontario (4-5) had qualified for the championship pool after beating Newfoundland’s Stacie Curtis 11-8 in a tiebreaker game earlier in the day.
Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones (7-2) defeated B.C. (4-5) 10-3 to start the day, then scored an 11-3 win over Ontario in the night draw.
“We kind of got a better handle on the ice today than we did last night and made some good shots and feel good,” said Jones, a five-time Scotties champion.
Jones said it is important to win every game they can.
“You just have to get enough to get into the final four,” she said.
Jones was impressed by B.C., calling it a “great young team.”
“Great hitters and the more experience they can get the better,” said the Olympic gold medallist from 2014. “I expect when I retire I will be watching them on TV.”
Van Osch of Nanaimo said playing Manitoba was a big learning curve. They decided to take some risks and knew that there was a chance Manitoba would get three.
“They are a good team. They are consistent, they are strong,” said Van Osch. “We knew that coming in we had to bring our A game. It just wasn’t quite good enough.”
In other evening playoff action, Northern Ontario’s Tracy Fleury (6-3) beat Team Canada’s Michelle Englot (5-4), 8-3. And Alberta’s Casey Scheidegger fell 8-3 against Nova Scotia’s Mary-Anne Arsenault, leaving both skips at 7-2.
The top four teams will advance to the semifinals Sunday.
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